Archive for the ‘Posts that really never should have been posted’ Category

A good lancing.Small errors can send the greatest projects spinning off into chaos. Take the following example:

Holy Trinity = 3

3 to the power of itself squared (commonly known as 9) = 19,683

19,683 = the span of human history from Creation to the Last Judgement (as believed in medieval England)

19,683/365 (days in a year) = 54 (almost – and which added together brings 9)

54/3 = 18 (which is double 3*3 – also, if you add 1 to 8 you get 9, the square of 3)

Psalm 54:3 of the King James version of the Bible = ‘For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah.’

Selah = A Hebrew word whose meaning lies somewhere between ‘stop and listen’ and ‘put that in your pipe and smoke it’, and which is mentioned 3 times in the Book of Habakkuk.

Habakkuk = As Daniel’s book has it, Habakkuk (3 ‘k’s in that name) is hanging out in Chaldea, just making some stew, lamb no doubt. It will be a good stew – so it is foretold – but Hark! – an angel descendeth. Bring that stew to Daniel, the angel demands. Daniel is in Babylon, says the angel, in the lion’s den, and he’s hungry. (You could smell that stew all the way from Chaldea – verily, t’was that good.) Habakkuk says to the angel that he knows nothing about no Daniel nor no lion, and so the angel grabs him by the hair and yanks him off to Babylon. Surely enough, Daniel strikes a pretty pathetic sight, careworn and wasted – the lions had worked their way through a few sheep as appetizer, leaving only himself for the mains – and so Habakkuk (who wouldn’t have been in too great a state himself, his hair half torn out by the ride, and covered in stew no doubt) takes heart and spoons some of that good stuff in him, screaming as he goes, because by this point he was fairly freaked out by the whole experience.

You will note the early fatal flaw that took this theory into the land of conjecture, conspiracy and spiritual conflagration. The number 19,683 represents the span in years, not in days, and so its division by 365 is nonsensical. It’s all in the wrist.


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Language is a body and violence can be done to it, particularly with punctuation, and nothing is quite as punctilious punctuationwise as an aposiopesis. An aposiopesis, we learn, is a written equivalent of the ‘becoming silent’ – signalled at the end of the beginning of a thought on one hand by a dash to denote the violent cutting off of words, and on the other hand by an ellipsis, or a ‘falling short’, for the loss of will, the joke with no punchline, the failure to complete…



‘Is that a dagger which I see before me? Why I nev–’


‘Huh. When I put it down, over there, in the drawer, in the hallway table, the one outside the kids’ room, I could have sworn, I was definite in fact, that the, that the safety…’


Aposiopesis Maximus

So where the dash is a dagger to the heart of the sentence, the ellipsis is three neat spots of blood trickled from its personhood, signalling its waning strength. And why three? Why always three? From whence came our love of the trio? Why is something not complete until the introduction of the third, while we walk on two legs and the beasts of the land walk on four? Yes a stool is unstable until comes the third leg, and everything after is superfluous, but can you see a three-legged peacock? You can not.

Why three when we couple in twos? Why tack on the holy ghost when the father and the son would have been fine on their own? What are the origins of the three? It’s three blind mice, and three wise monkeys, and three sheets to the wind (those being only three examples). Why are three cuff buttons on a man’s jacket the essence of elegance?

Yet one tries to picture an ellipsis made of only two points, and it is too horrible to imagine, too horrible.. Similarly, try to think of a sentence stunted by a hyphen rather than the mighty em-dash—I mean, wha-

The ingloriousness of it – like death by toothpick. Just ask Sherwood Anderson, who died after swallowing an hors d’oeuvre avec un cure-dent. It slashed his pouch to pieces. We don’t know how many.

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Knits a stinK has been doing a lot of thinking lately about the development of Western civilization. We’ve been reading book(s), trying to figure this out, looking to take a stand somewhere or other, to have a viewpoint, and with the power of reflection it seems to us that there are a few strands that stick out and beg to be pulled. We present to you here a certain few motes that have filtered through the cheesecloths of our minds. Juice features large, as does the colo(u)r purple (although not necessarily at the same time), when it comes down to encapsulating this place, this idea, we have come to know as Europe. Galileo pops up once or twice as well, as is his wont – putting the ‘perv’ in ‘impervious’ – as does Tyre, which is the symbolic starting point for old heart Europe.

Tyre, you see, which is currently located within the borders of Lebanon, and known by them as ‘Sour’, is the historic birthplace of Europa, that saucy lass that tempted Zeus to steal her away to Mt Olympus or wherever, disguised as a bull (Zeus that is, not Europa). One of the first horns of a dilemma. The Tyre king must not have been too happy. This was well before Helen went the other direction, don’t you know.

Europa coined.

PLUS, Tyre was well known in those days as a center for the production of purple. Our friend legend has it that some dude was walking along the Levantine seaside with his dog, when he (the dog) got a wild hair and bounded after a band of sea snails. Well apparently the dog came back and Heracles (who may or may not have been Hercules) cranked open the animal’s mouth for some ancient reason and saw that it was stained this lovely shade, falling in the range between dried blood and the colo(u)r of the sky in the last moments before night.

Well didn’t old Heracles think that was a hoot. And didn’t he show the King of Tyre, and didn’t the King of Tyre say to himself, that’s a shade I wish to associate myself with. Myself and no one else. I will be the King of Snails, and people will see me and say, ‘That sea snail-colo(u)red man is one powerful being, that much is obvious, I think I might just bow to him when he passes,’ but with a Tyrian accent, and it will be good. The lore unfortunately does not give us the fate of the dog with the snail-stained gob, or whether he became the King of Dogs for his brief time, or whether there passed a fashion or a passion for chewing on snails, or whether that was limited to a certain, very rarefied set of mutts, who trotted around with their mouths wide open as proof of their lineage. We’re guessing this is just what happened, though.

And was Europa wearing purple when Zeus, that randy old fellow, fell for her? I would say so. She was the King’s daughter, after all. Hello Princess Europa. Bye bye Phoenicia. Thanks for all the snails. The Tyrians used to collect them, and put them in pots, the snails – just after the rising of the Dog star – and boil them all up in saltwater, until they had their lovely liquor of Tyrian purple.

That’s the story about how a bunch of snails lured Western civilization out of the Fertile Crescent. Not very likely, is it? But it is etched in stone, so who are you to argue? Anyway, back in Europe a few thousand years pass with little incident, and this guy named Galileo Galilei Galilea* is looking up at the heavens through a tube, and what does he discover? Why Europa, of course, up there dancing around her fat friend Jupiter. And sure isn’t Jupiter just Zeus in yet another disguise, this time as the head of the Roman clan, who had stolen the purple torch from the Greeks? And so Galileo was burned at the stake for finding her out once again, a punishment meted by Zeus/Jupiter himself, no doubt, and afterwards there was another boring period for 400 years or so, at which point Europe suddenly remembered again where she was.

But this time when they looked they had some seriously advanced tubes, and what they saw at the other end was what looked to be an icy sphere. Europa, the revolving Ice Queen. And so back home on Earth her continent, recently united, cobbled together a space system for the sole purpose of sending out what they coined the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer (giving us, in a very roundabout way, the acronym ‘JUICE’, though it looks to us that it should be JIME, but then of course that don’t jive). JUICE is the spaceship they plan to send to visit Europa in 2022, to break the ice in 2030. I suppose the reason they wanted their acronym to spell ‘juice’, is for what they think might lie beneath the ice – water. And what might be in that water? Life. The greatest juice of them all. And wouldn’t that be something? Europa, that tricky beast, never fails to surprise.

*To be sung to the tune of ‘The Happy Wanderer

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Some of the guys in the office thought we should enter our fiftieth week with a big bang, and I was out-voted, so we teamed up with the Inevitable Press to give you this:

What do you mean, ‘What is it?’? It’s a goatscape. Let me see if I can’t arrange for a few close-ups:

Whoever said we don’t love you?

We unfortunately haven’t been able to hook up the audio for this post (to the great displeasure of our librettist), but I thought it would probably go something like this:

climbing up goat moun-

tain they go,


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Happiness! Joy! Elation! Jubilation! Avarice! Spectacles! Fantasmagorical emanations! Rosehip pilafs! Garrulous displays of affection! Pewter computers, with which to celebrate the coming of the next technical phase! Boisterisms! Fecund arrays: wealth and riches, riches and wealth! Endless pirouettes! Endless, endless pirouettes, as though ’twere a drill into a board!

Miraculous extensions of livelihood come down to us. Show us your ways. Give us tablets. Gulp down your fill. If this be fantasy let it remain so.

The editorial staff at KaK have recently finished reading The Greenlanders, by Jane Smiley, and it has done odd things to our brains. It was a very long book, for one, as such a tale must be, and it enveloped the entire editorial team for the length of more than a month. We feared we would not see them again, that they were lost forever to the cold beaten land that is 14th-century Greenland, but they did finally emerge. What follows covers a mere fraction of their report:

Within the book there comes a phrase from the mouth of one character to describe another, a man who had learned the art of writing in a latter stage of his life. We didn’t note the page number so we paraphrase: ‘Such a skill is like a deep hole, in which many other useful skills are lost.’ Jane put it much better than we have, but you get the gist. It reminds one of the popular saying which compares a boat to a hole in the water into which you throw your money.

Let us reflect now, on that which has been lost: boat building, for one, as well as maintenance; plumbing; hunting and trapping; accountancy. There is surely more. It is difficult to know that which never was.

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What a strange word, ‘homage’, no matter how you pronounce it, be it ‘OH-mahj’, or ‘HOH-midge’, or ‘hah-mi-GEE’, or ‘hoh-MAYJ’. It should be cozy, shouldn’t it, being half ‘home’ and half ‘porridge’, but it just isn’t. It’s too slippery for that.

Anyway. I’m going to give my lady G. Stein a bit of a shout-out here. You ready, G.? You ready for a bit of trance-work, Stein-style? I’m gonna rip that out. I’m bout to rip that out. Okay. Here we go:

I’m putting this in italics so that you know it’s an homage (or should that be ‘a homage’?)

I walked past a pastor.

I walked past her.

I walked past a pastor into a pasture.

I walked past her 

To take my repast and subtly cast my views upon Miss Astor,

Of which I asked her,

‘What is the wheat of the chaff for?

What’s the beaten bats, or

Other bits of disaster

Borrowed by your master?

What is that for?’

This is what I asked her,

Though I never could surpass her,

Our dear Miss Golden Astor,

Queen of the spleen

(she’s querulous and mean,

If lacking the keen, perfectly seen,

Explicitly tactless forecaster.) 

Uh … Ta-daa!

What? You could do better? Homages suck. 

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